The New [Typo]grapher – Justine Barratt

In the 1920s and 1930s, the so-called New Typography movement brought graphics and information design to the forefront of the artistic avant-garde in Central Europe. Rejecting traditional arrangement of type in symmetrical columns, modernist designers organized the printed page or poster as a blank field in which blocks of type and illustration (frequently photomontage) could be arranged in harmonious, strikingly asymmetrical compositions. Taking his lead from currents in Soviet Russia and at the Weimar Bauhaus, the designer Jan Tschichold codified the movement with accessible guidelines in his landmark book Die Neue Typographie (1928). Almost overnight, typographers and printers adapted this way of working for a huge range of printed matter, from business cards and brochures to magazines, books, and advertisements. This installation of posters and numerous small-scale works is drawn from MoMA’s rich collection of Soviet Russian, German, Dutch, and Czechoslovakian graphics. They represent material from Tschichold’s own collection, which supported his teaching and publication from around 1927 to 1937.

In this poster, designed by Jan Tschichold during the New Typography Movement, it demonstrates a great use of white space. The use of a thin stroke draws attention to the structure of the text. The text is using an axial method based on a vertical grid system. The geometric structure of a circle is placed on the page incorporated with the text and the grid system. The accent color of red for the circle stands out and draws the viewer in. The red color is used because it is the most dominant color associated with black. I find this poster to be one of my favorites. The simplistic nature and minimalistic design incorporating the tasteful white space is what i find so attracting about it. This poster is a good example about what Keith Robertson was talking about in his article because the white space here is giving meaning to the text on the page. The simplicity white space is what is desired the most.

The Van de Graaf canon used in book design to divide a page in pleasing proportions, was popularized by Jan Tschichold in his book The Form of the Book.


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